From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Calder Grange - - 5169.jpg
Calder Grange, Knottingley
Knottingley is located in West Yorkshire
 Knottingley shown within West Yorkshire
Population 13,503 
OS grid reference SE495235
Metropolitan borough City of Wakefield
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district WF11
Dialling code 01977
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Pontefract and Castleford
List of places

Coordinates: 53°42′18″N 1°14′56″W / 53.705°N 1.249°W / 53.705; -1.249

Knottingley is a town within the metropolitan borough of the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England on the River Aire and the A1 road. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it has a population of 13,503.[1]

Until 1699, it was an important inland river port but, in that year, the Aire was made navigable as far as Leeds, which soon surpassed it. Knottingley continued as a centre for boat building into the 20th century. In the late 19th century, it started glass manufacturing. The town is served by Knottingley railway station.

After 1870, the town became known for glass manufacturing.[2] In 1887 Bagley's Glassworks purchased the rights to the first bottle-making machine, invented by a Ferrybridge postmaster.[3] There is a Bagley's Glass gallery in Pontefract Museum.

Close to Knottingley is the Ferrybridge Power Station, which has the largest cooling towers of their kind in Europe. Three of these towers collapsed in high winds in 1965. These towers can be seen for miles around. One of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in England, located in Aire Street, has been converted into flats.

The town was one of the few in the United Kingdom to have a working coal mine, Kellingley Colliery.


St Botolph's Church

Knottingley means "the clearing of Cnotta's people", from the Old English personal name Cnotta meaning "knot", describing a small, round man and -ingas "people of" + leāh "wood, modern lee, not the same meaning as Leah (personal name)". The name was recorded as Cnotinesleahemm in 1128.

During the three Sieges of Pontefract Castle, Oliver Cromwell took residence in the town of Knottingley, believed to be in Wildbore House. The house was later demolished when its land was mined as a quarry for the limestone underneath.

Knottingley, inextricably linked with Ferrybridge, is a West Yorkshire town whose history is tied to river travel and industry. It has managed to retain certain elements of that industrial history as thriving enterprises today, providing employment for many of its population of some 17,000. It was originally an Anglo-Saxon settlement, though the ancient monument of Ferrybridge Henge shows it had significant indigenous habitation long before then.

The crossing over the Aire at Ferrybridge was of importance for many centuries. A bridge was built there in 1198, and another to replace it two centuries later. Located on the Great North Road linking London with York and Edinburgh beyond that, the town became an important staging place for the coach traffic on that route. The traffic continued to develop, until in 1804 the government had to build a wider bridge over the river to accommodate it. The new bridge was designed higher to allow easier passage of the barge traffic on the Aire and Calder Navigation.

Knottingley was an inland port of some note, long the last navigable point on the Aire until the Aire and Calder Navigation, built in 1826, enabled barges to make it to Leeds. Its shipyards built and maintained both inland and seagoing vessels. Pottery was a significant industry for the town from the 19th century until as late as the 1940s, when the Australian Pottery, opened to cater to that country’s needs, finally closed.

Glass manufacturing continues to be important. The town has Kellingley colliery still operating, helped by the demand from the huge power station at Ferrybridge.

Knottingley is a central point for horse racing fans, with tracks at Pontefract, York, Wetherby and Doncaster all close by.


Knottingley has one high school, De Lacy Academy formerly called Knottingley High School and Sports College. For extra curricular activities, the local air cadet squadron is based on the high school campus and it is the proud owner a thriving Beaver, Cub and Scout group which meets on a Thursday at St. Botolph's Church

It has several primary schools: England Lane Junior and Infant School, Ferrybridge Infant School, Ferrybridge Roundhill Junior School, Knottingley Church of England Junior and Infant School, Knottingley Vale Junior and Infant School and Simpson's Lane Junior and Infant School. Sixth-form colleges are located in nearby Pontefract, Wakefield and Selby.

Notable people[edit]


Location Grid[edit]